Can A CPU Break A Motherboard? [Absolute Answer 2024]

Written By Steven Arends

Has your motherboard broken all of a sudden? And you don’t know whether your CPU is responsible or not? Well, you have just come to the right place.

I have been building and repairing countless computers for ages. I have looked into this question and researched in-depth about this topic.

Read the full article to get the definitive answer to this question.can-a-cpu-break-a-motherboard

Follow our guide to know will Motherboard turn on without CPU.

How Can a CPU Break a Motherboard?

A CPU can not break a motherboard. However, a CPU can break a motherboard if the CPU is already broken or dead. Besides, Overheating CPU can sometimes break the motherboard. Rather than a CPU, a motherboard can be broken via different factors. Some of them are CPU-related, and some of them are other components related.

If the CPU is called the brain of a computer, then the motherboard is called the heart of the computer. It contains all the components and makes sure to run them properly. If anything goes wrong with your motherboard, you will face more significant issues than changing just one part or two.

Generally, motherboards are made to last longer than other components. And they are pretty expensive as well. But you need to be careful enough to use the right components. Otherwise, they can ruin your motherboard.

Also, check out our separate post on how to fix CPU Cooler Not Screwing.

How does a Motherboard Break?

There are some common mistakes that often occur by users. These mistakes can damage or permanently break your

Here are some common reasons for motherboard failure:

  • Broken CPU: It is quite uncommon for a CPU to damage your motherboard. The only way it can happen is CPU overheating. When the CPU overheats, it can also cause the motherboard to heat. Which can damage or destroy your motherboard.
  • Defective Power Supply Unit: A defective power supply often can not control the voltage limit. As a result, when a power surge occurs, it can not control it and pass the high voltage through the system, which can cause massive damage and can even burn the motherboard and other components.
  • Water Damage: Water damage is quite a common reason for motherboard failure. If your system gets wet, the motherboard can be short-circuited. And short circuit can permanently damage your motherboard as well as the whole computer.
  • Physical Damage: If your motherboard IC, transistor, or any other small components break for some reason, it won’t work correctly or even fail. It mainly happens when you are not an expert and attempting to build your own computer.
  • Overheating: Overheating is another common reason for motherboard failure. When there isn’t enough airflow in your system, your system gets hot. Which results in motherboard failure.
  • Software Issue: This issue is mainly created when you try to update the BIOS of your motherboard manually, and it doesn’t install properly. Any motherboard tweaking software can break your motherboard if you don’t know what you are doing.
  • ESD(Electrostatic Discharge): ESD is another common reason for motherboard failure. If you don’t have adequate protection and touch any metal objects in the motherboard, it can cause electrostatic discharge. Which can ruin your motherboard easily.

Also, don’t forget to check out our separate post on how to fix motherboard HDMI no signal.

How to Know the Motherboard is Damaged

Finding out the damage to a motherboard is quite tricky. It is not like other components that physically check or run tests to discover the issues.

Every modern motherboard comes with error lights that blink if anything goes wrong. These error signs could differ for different manufacturers. I have found some identifying techniques for finding out whether the motherboard is damaged or not.

Here is how you can find out faulty motherboards:

  • Switch the power supply unit on and check the green light on the motherboard is on or not. If the light is not turned on, then use a different power supply unit to check whether the problem is the power supply or not. If the light doesn’t turn on this time as well, then the motherboard is most probably damaged.
  • If the light turns on, then just check the components that are connected to the motherboard are functioning or not. Keep CPU and rams on the motherboard only and try to access the BIOS menu.
  • If it still fails to boot, then check the CMOS battery to know whether it is dead or not. If the CMOS battery is aged and stopped working, then get a new CMOS battery.

Have some time to spare? Quickly check out our epic guide on how to fix motherboard can’t detect hard drive.

How to Prevent a CPU from Breaking a Motherboard

The motherboard is the system’s heart, and you need to keep your motherboard safe. As a CPU can sometimes cause troubles to your motherboard, you need to know how you can save your motherboard from a problematic processor. I have found some best ways to prevent the issue.

Here is how you can prevent a CPU from breaking a motherboard:

  • The first thing you can do is check whether the CPU is placed on the socket properly or not. If it isn’t placed in the socket accurately and firmly, as a consequence, your motherboard can be damaged. So try to be careful when you install a CPU on the motherboard.
  • Use a decent cooling solution in your system. It is crucial to keep the CPU temperature low. If the CPU overheats, it will damage your motherboard. So use a decent fan cooler or a liquid cooling system in your computer to protect the CPU and the motherboard.

Also, check how to apply & remove Thermal Paste On Motherboard PCB.

Here is how you can save your motherboard from other factors:

  • Use a high-quality power supply unit. A decent power supply can save your motherboard and other components from high voltages and sudden peak voltage rise.
  • Be extra careful while you install or remove any components from the motherboard. Any damage to small elements of the motherboard can cause a failure. If you know what you are doing, then you can access the motherboard. Otherwise, I’ll recommend consulting an expert.
  • Clean your system often to avoid heating issues. It is essential to keep your system neat and clean. It will increase the airflow to the system.
  • Avoid using those components which are not compatible or cheap. Don’t be so close-fisted while choosing the computer components. If needed, spend some extra cash to buy good quality and compatible components.
  • Keep your computer away from any water sources. Make sure not to gush your system with any liquid substances and keep it dry at any cost.
  • Be careful while updating the BIOS of the motherboard manual. Try to update the BIOS using the official method to avoid any possible issues.
  • Don’t tweak any motherboard components if you are not an expert or new to tweaking components. Any misstep can cause the motherboard failure. So take some help from the experts while tweaking.


Can a PSU break a motherboard?

Yes, a power supply unit can break a motherboard. As a power supply controls the voltage amount, if any abnormal voltage amount is passed through, it can burn the motherboard. So having an excellent quality power supply unit can save your motherboard from breaking.

Can a motherboard kill a CPU?

Yes, a motherboard can kill a CPU. If the motherboard doesn’t operate as it should, it can create a massive problem throughout the entire system. Sometimes, a motherboard can be short-circuited. This issue can damage all components, including the CPU. So, make sure to use all the safety manners to prevent the motherboard from damaging other components.

Can a hard drive damage a motherboard?

In a general sense, a hard drive or any storage device can never damage the motherboard. Yes, the motherboard can get damaged while installing or removing the hard drives. Otherwise, a hard drive is harmless to the motherboard.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, A CPU can break a motherboard if the CPU is damaged or for any other reasons like overheating, overclocking, etc. Otherwise, a CPU will never break a motherboard. So, if your motherboard is broken, try to find the other possible causes that I have just told you, rather than finding the fault of the processor.

I hope you get all the answers you were looking for. If you face more issues regarding this topic, contact me without any hesitation. I will try my best to give proper solutions.

About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.

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